As always, Faith & Fear does an excellent job. Kids, enjoy Greg’s tale of the 1980 off-season to get a taste of how crappy things can get.
There were teams that seriously considered free agents and then there were the Mets. That was our big-market franchise in advance of 1977, 1978, 1979 and 1980. While others relied (or perhaps overrelied) on the injection of stars into their lineup or rotation, the Mets kept their hands in their pockets for the first four years that teams could sign standout players from the open market. The Yankees nabbed Reggie Jackson and then inked Goose Gossage. The Phillies solidified their ranks with Pete Rose. The Astros brought Texas-born Nolan Ryan home. Those were the prize catches of the first four “re-entry drafts,” as they were known. There were loads of other big names that went to lots of other teams.
But not to the Mets. The Mets reeled in two guppies, both in the 1977-78 class: infielder/outfielder Elliott Maddox and middle reliever Tom Hausman.
A great read with much more: Faith & Fear